Data from Topcon Positioning Group’s participation in the digital preservation of the historic Sogi hydroelectric plant in Japan was unveiled at a special event in Bonn, Germany. The unveiling took place in conjunction with the recent UNESCO World Heritage Committee meetings, where the committee examined proposals to inscribe 36 properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Considered a significant contribution to the Meiji industrial revolution, the plant was mapped as part of the CyArk 500 Challenge — an international project to digitally preserve and create awareness of some of the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites.

The Sogi site was recorded in 3D by an international team using the latest Topcon geopositioning technologies, including the GLS-2000 scanner, the IP-S3 mobile mapping system and aerial mapping solutions. “We are proud to have provided our technology and resources to the Sogi project,” says Eduardo Falcon, Topcon executive vice president and general manager of the GeoPositioning Solutions Group. 

The National Congress of Industrial Heritage, in collaboration with the Japanese government, nominated the Sogi plant to the CyArk 500 Challenge in December 2014. Topcon teamed with CyArk and the National Congress to develop a three-dimensional map of the site for future preservation and visualization.

CyArk archived the captured data and used it to build an interactive online map of the site to promote the preservation and study of Japan’s industrial heritage. “We are very excited for the digital preservation of the Sogi hydroelectric plant,” says Ben Kacyra, CyArk founder. “The CyArk 500 strives to connect the international heritage community in an effort to preserve and experience incredible places in a way previously impossible.”

Located in Isa, the Sogi power plant was constructed in 1909. At its height the hydroelectric plant generated 6,700 kW of power. The Sogi plant closed in 1965 with the construction of the larger Tsuruda dam downriver. The new dam caused Sogi to flood seasonally, endangering the unique representation from the Meiji industrial revolution.

To learn more about the project, visit

About Topcon Positioning Group

Headquartered in Livermore, Calif., Topcon Positioning Group designs, manufactures and distributes precise positioning products and solutions for the global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, BIM, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control markets. Brands include Topcon, Sokkia, Tierra, Wachendorff Elektronik, Digi-Star and 2LS. Parent Topcon Corporation, founded in 1932, is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.